N.Y. Governor Cuomo Signs CARE Act into Law
After unanimously passing the New York legislature, the Caregiver Advice, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act has been signed into law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on October 26.
The bill (pdf) allows patients of New York hospitals to formally designate a family caregiver before being discharged or transferred to a different facility. Hospital staff will be responsible for notifying family caregivers 24 hours before their patient is going to be released.
Hospitals also must provide family caregivers with the information and training necessary to perform to basic home care tasks.
Earlier this year, PHI signed a letter to Cuomo urging him to sign the bill into law.
“Patients in New York will be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that their loved ones and family members — the people who will be providing them care at home — will have the support and information they need to be successful,” Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal (D), who co-sponsored the bill, is quoted as saying in an October 27 press release from AARP.
AARP has worked with state legislatures around the country to pass versions of the CARE Act, deeming the nationwide passage of the law “top priority legislation.”
A 2015 report from the AARP Public Policy Institute found that, nationwide, approximately 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. provided unpaid care for a loved one. New York has nearly 2.6 million family caregivers, the report estimated, the fourth-highest in the country (behind California, Texas, and Florida).
New York is the 18th state to pass a version of the CARE Act, the Albany Times Union reported on October 27. It will take effect in late April, 180 days after being signed.
Other states that have passed the CARE Act include Virginia, Connecticut, and New Mexico, where representatives from the New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition rallied in support of the bill earlier this year.
— by Matthew Ozga